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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffLum Edwards Date: Apr 9, 2011 4:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Buck Dancers Choice

Hiya good people of the GD forum. Once again I have a question, From Uncle Johns Band the line "Its a Buckdancers Choice my friend" stumps me. What does that mean?

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Apr 9, 2011 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

I always thought it was something about a stripper....

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Apr 9, 2011 5:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

So I would hear out those lungs,
The air split into nine levels,
Some gift of tongues of the whistler

In the invalid’s bed: my mother,
Warbling all day to herself
The thousand variations of one song;

It is called Buckdancer’s Choice.
For years, they have all been dying
Out, the classic buck-and-wing men

Of traveling minstrel shows;
With them also an old woman
Was dying of breathless angina,

Yet still found breath enough
To whistle up in my head
A sight like a one-man band,

Freed black, with cymbals at heel,
An ex-slave who thrivingly danced
To the ring of his own clashing light

Through the thousand variations of one song
All day to my mother’s prone music,
The invalid’s warbler’s note,

While I crept close to the wall
Sock-footed, to hear the sounds alter,
Her tongue like a mockingbird’s break

Through stratum after stratum of a tone
Proclaiming what choices there are
For the last dancers of their kind,

For ill women and for all slaves
Of death, and children enchanted at walls
With a brass-beating glow underfoot,

Not dancing but nearly risen
Through barnlike, theatrelike houses
On the wings of the buck and wing.

James Dickey

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffLum Edwards Date: Apr 9, 2011 6:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

Thanks Sir Cliff, I can see where Hunter would have used that while writing the lyrics. Slightly disturbing and I am left not quite sure what to think of it. Is it the dying Mother or the grieving child whistling the 1000 variations of the tune? Need to try and find that song.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Apr 9, 2011 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

Thanks Cliff,
for reminding us that, yes, there is, perchance
so much more to Dickey than "Deliverance"

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Apr 9, 2011 4:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

seems like there are several possibilities:

http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/uncle.html#buck

I like the one about it being the opposite of ladies choice from the early 60's tune.

This post was modified by elbow1126 on 2011-04-09 11:38:58

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffLum Edwards Date: Apr 9, 2011 6:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

Wow, Thanks for the link, very cool to see the theories for all the verbal imagery though out the song.

Bookmarked.

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Poster: reviewr Date: Apr 9, 2011 9:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

There is a book by David Dodd that goes into great depth about all GD lyrics ("The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics"). Too long for me to quote from the book. Here is what is available on-line:

http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/

Just go to Uncle John's.

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Poster: boltman Date: Apr 9, 2011 8:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

I've always gone with the tap dancing reference myself.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 9, 2011 7:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

Seems like it's not on the archives, but apparently Jerry did a song called Buck Dancer's Choice with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers, and it's available in various places (or seems to be) if you google 1962-06-11 garcia.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Apr 10, 2011 5:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Buck Dancers Choice

http://deadroots.net/content/predead

"Buck Dancer's Choice (Instrumental) (Buck Dance by Rev G Davis)
A comment is made that they don't know why the song is called that, maybe at some point a buck dancer choose it."

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